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01-12-2014 | Uitgave 4/2014

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 4/2014

Perfectionism, Stress, Daily Hassles, Hopelessness, and Suicide Potential in Depressed Psychiatric Adolescents

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 4/2014
Paul L. Hewitt, Carmen F. Caelian, Chang Chen, Gordon L. Flett


The current study examined dimensions of perfectionism, stress, hopelessness, and suicidality in a sample of adolescent psychiatric patients diagnosed with depression. This study evaluated the unique contribution of perfectionism in predicting suicidality after considering other predictors (i.e., hopelessness, depression) and it also examined the diathesis-stress model of perfectionism and suicide. A sample of 55 adolescents (41 females, mean age = 15.53, 25.5 % ethnic/racial minorities) who were psychiatric patients completed measures including the Child-Adolescent Perfectionism Scale, subjective and objective indices of life stress, daily hassles, depression, hopelessness, suicide ideation, prior attempts and suicide potential. In addition, other informants (i.e., adolescents’ parents) completed a diagnostic interview and an interview assessing major stressful experiences. Socially prescribed perfectionism (i.e., the perception that others require perfection of oneself) predicted concurrent levels of suicide potential and this association with suicide potential held even after controlling for the variances accounted for by depression and hopelessness. Hierarchical regression analyses provided partial support for the diathesis-stress model, that is, socially prescribed perfectionism interacted with daily hassles to predict concurrent suicide potential even after controlling for depression, hopelessness, and prior suicide attempt. Together, these findings suggest that socially prescribed perfectionism acts as a vulnerability factor that is predictive of suicide potential or risk among clinically depressed adolescents.

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